Common Questions

General Information

Who will use PIR?
PIR will be used by the following groups:

  • Fiscal Services management and business lines to obtain business intelligence about payment transactions
  • Non Treasury Disbursing Offices (NTDO) and Treasury Disbursing Offices (TDO) to access payment data analytics
  • Non Treasury Disbursing Offices (NTDO) to access their voucher data previously accessed in CA$HLINK II and detailed payment transactions when they become a CARS Reporter

What are the benefits of PIR to Federal Program Agencies (FPAs)?
With PIR, payments information will be available for FPAs to view from one source. PIR will:

  • Provide a single, web-based system from which agencies can view disbursement information
  • Supply FPAs with both summary and detail information on payment transactions in a single source
  • Provide business intelligence on payment transactions originating from the FPA

What are the benefits of PIR to Fiscal Services?
PIR will provide the following benefits to Fiscal Service:

  • Assist Fiscal Service in managing the quality of incoming payment transactions and their associated classifications in support of GWA initiatives
  • Make statistical and analytical reporting available, significantly improving the ability of the U.S. Treasury to more precisely manage its financial position and make informed decisions on payment trends. PIR is one of multiple information repositories that will provide information to the Financial Information Repository (FIR). While it is anticipated that business line specifics analytics and reporting will be conducted in the individual repositories, cross-business line analytics will be performed in the FIR.

Where does PIR data come from?
Payment information pulled from U.S. Treasury systems serves as the basis of PIR reports. Additionally, supplemental information is gathered in summary form from various other sources in order to gain insight into payment patterns. PIR data constitutes a snapshot of payment activity as of a specific point in time; it only provides information about actual payments made, not subsequent accounting activity.

Is data in PIR redundant?
Based on the nature of the business module (transaction vs. repository), there will be duplication of data. This is necessary in order to support the strategic focus of gathering business intelligence and analytics.

How is data in PIR secured?
Access to data in PIR is secured in accordance with Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) and other federal laws and regulations for IT systems security that apply.

How will agencies learn about progress with PIR?
Fiscal Services will provide agencies with information through the PIR website on an ongoing basis and through direct contact with agencies. The PIR Team encourages those interested in PIR to subscribe to receive web page updates.

How do I enroll in PIR?
For more information and detailed enrollment instructions, please visit the Getting Started page in the PIR section of the Fiscal Service website.

Are there any special internet requirements for accessing the PIR application?
For best results, it is recommended to use one of the three most current versions of the supported browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox) to access the PIR application.

Business Intelligence

What is Business Intelligence?
One definition is the processes, technologies, and tools needed to turn data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into plans that drive profitable business actions. (David Loshin, Knowledge Integrity Inc.)

How does PIR provide Business Intelligence?
PIR gathers data from U.S. Treasury systems and supplements it with data received from a variety of other sources to provide information. It then presents the information in various dashboard views that give agencies new insights into the payments such as data quality that will allow decision makers to act upon those insights.

What are the benefits of the Business Intelligence Dashboard?

  • Data query availability beyond the pre-defined views
  • Month to Date calendar widget for expanded time period views
  • Agency users are provided an early view of their data to become familiar with its categorization from a reporting perspective, including the concept of unified vendor, and to allow them to validate the data within their systems to the data residing in PIR
  • Data will be transformed through enrichment and standardization to gain new business insights
  • Questions, trends, and correlations can be analyzed by comparing detailed payment data with external factors such as economic and financial data
  • Early access to data for review prior to public release

What will be available in the Business Intelligence Dashboard?
Access to several views will be available on the Dashboard. Below is a sampling of views:

  • Top 10 States of Vendors Receiving Payments
  • Types of Organizations Receiving Vendor Payments
  • Top 10 Market Sectors Receiving Vendor Payments
  • Top 10 Vendors Receiving Payments
  • Socially/Economically Disadvantaged Vendors
  • Top 10 Financial Institutions used by Vendors
  • Top 10 State locations of Financial Institutions used by Vendors
  • Minority Vendors

How can PIR be utilized to monitor and improve data quality in source systems?
The Vendor Payment Detail Report and the Transparency.Treasury.gov Report can be compared against internal sources to ensure data submitted to PIR is complete. Data completeness in source systems will ensure that PIR provides the most accurate reporting through dashboard views for trend analysis.

Payment Transparency*

*Business Intelligence reports can be leveraged to provide payments transparency to the public. Once Fiscal Service Payment Management obtains permission from Main Treasury to move forward with publishing government payments information, the PIR team will reach out to agencies to bring awareness to this initiative.

How do the Treasury transparency approach and the PIR Reports relate?
Publication of the payment reports produced from PIR is the first small step of Treasury’s overall transparency approach intended to address the many transparency requirements being issued, including the proposed DATA Act. The payment reports are intended to give federal agencies and the public greater visibility into the amount, purpose, and nature of Government payments.

What types of data will be made publicly available?
Data shown on the Treasury transparency website will initially focus on vendor payment activity. Vendor payments are payments made by the federal government to contractors, businesses, and/or utility companies that provide goods and/or services to federal agencies. Note that at this time, the data will not include grants, international payments, returns, or wires. Efforts to include this data are ongoing.

In order to provide added clarity regarding individual vendor attributes, PIR takes steps to summarize payment activity, which is dependent on the classification of payment recipients as Unified Vendors.

What is a Unified Vendor?
A Unified Vendor is established when activity of a subsidiary organization is combined with that of its parent organization to more accurately represent payment activity by the business as a whole. Processes used by PIR to isolate Unified Vendors include data cleansing and standardization, in which data is analyzed to help identify vendors with similar names that may be affiliated with one another and should be consolidated for payment purposes.

How is PIR data verified?
PIR data is gathered from U.S. Treasury systems and supplemented by information received from a variety of other sources. Beyond the inherent reliability of these partnerships, verification of PIR data is the responsibility of the agencies represented in that data. Agency Users can enroll in PIR to review their data prior to the posting on the transparency website each month.

Will the public have access to the PIR?
No. Reports are generated by PIR and posted for public view on the U.S. Treasury’s transparency website, located at http://transparency.treasury.gov (“the transparency website”), which is managed by the Financial Information Repository (FIR). All reports are updated on a monthly basis. The transparency website has been organized in response to the 2006 Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act mandate that federal award information be made available to and searchable by the public.

Through the transparency website, FIR furthers government accountability for its spending by providing the public with a convenient avenue to access relevant financial information. Data on the transparency website may be accessed anonymously, as no authentication will be required to enter the public portal. The site will also provide the opportunity for collaboration and information sharing among federal agencies, as well as between agencies and other partners.

What should my agency do if we’ve reviewed our data and believe it to be incorrect?
In the event of a data quality issue, the affected agency should contact the PIR Help Desk to open a ticket. The Help Desk can be reached at (816) 414-2340 or via email at PIR.Help.Desk@fms.treas.gov or PIR.Help.Desk@fiscal.treasury.gov.

Can the reports that will be available on the transparency website be viewed by agencies now?
Currently, federal agencies can view the following reports through the PIR:

  • Top 10 States of Vendors Receiving Payments
  • Types of Organizations Receiving Vendor Payments
  • Top 10 Market Sectors Receiving Vendor Payments
  • Top 10 Vendors Receiving Payments

Agencies may access additional information and a more detailed view of the reports that will appear on the transparency website by enrolling in PIR.

What happens when a member of the public submits an inquiry about agency data posted on the transparency website?
All inquiries submitted through the transparency website are received and managed by the Financial Information Repository (FIR) Help Desk. Upon receipt of an inquiry, the FIR team will review the question and determine the most appropriate handling of it, elevating it to the relevant agency’s POC(s) if necessary. If the inquiry is elevated, the POC(s) will be responsible for drafting a reply and will submit the response back to the FIR Help Desk agents, who will in turn route the final reply to the customer. All public inquiries and responses will be channeled through the FIR Help Desk to maintain current FAQ information and to ensure an optimal help desk structure.

NTDO CARS Reporting

How will NTDOs provide TAS/BETC classification data to PIR?
NTDOs will be required to report payment and accounting details the day following settlement date (ACH/Wire) and date of pay (check) via the PIR Standard Reporting Format (SRF). Included with the payment details is the TAS/BETC classification for each payment.

What is the Standard Reporting Format (SRF)?
The SRF is a standard flat file layout that all NTDOs will be expected to populate with all issued payments. NTDOs will be required to report payment and accounting details the day following settlement date (ACH/Wire) and date of pay (check) via the SRF. Payment and accounting details include but are not limited to the following.

  • Payee name, TIN, city, state, zip
  • Check serial number
  • Receiver RTN
  • Payment TAS/BETC
  • Contract detail for vendor payments

Can an NTDO reclassify TAS/BETC information through PIR?
PIR is intended to be a reporting system only, and, thus, agencies will not be able to enter reclassification of TAS/BETC information into the PIR. A consistent approach for reclassifying TAS/BETC information is being assessed within Fiscal Service and more information on reclassification will be made available once an approach is finalized.

Can NTDOs change non-dollar amount information on their vouchers, such as ALC, date and voucher number in PIR?
PIR is a reporting system only, therefore, corrections will be handled through the originating channel (e.g., FedACH). For example, agencies are allowed to correct two fields on the voucher -- date and voucher number. These corrections do not affect the Treasury General Account (TGA); however, the mechanism for correcting the voucher is the same mechanism for making a dollar amount adjustment. A new voucher needs to be generated to back out the original voucher, and another new voucher is created with the correct voucher number and/or date. In other words, if a SF5515 needs to be corrected a SF215 is created with the same amount as the original SF5515. A new SF5515 is then created with the correct information. All of these vouchers are created in FRB CA$HLINK by the payment channel (ACH, wire, ITS.gov).

PIR as a CLII Replacement

Was the information previously housed in CA$HLINK II migrated to PIR?
PIR is populated with seven years of historical payment vouchers from CA$HLINK II. PIR determined which vouchers were to be imported based upon their account type: Food Stamps, FRB Postal Money Orders, FRB ACH, FRB ITS.gov, FRB ASAP, TCIS Adjustments, and STAR Non Cash Adjustments. With the decommissioning of CA$HLINK II, historical vouchers for these account types reside only within PIR; they were not imported to the Collections Information Repository (CIR).

Additionally, PIR absorbed all Miscellaneous Debit and Credit vouchers. Since these Miscellaneous vouchers contain a mixture of both Payment and Collection activities, these vouchers will most likely also be imported into CIR and will reside in both repositories.

What historical data from CA$HLINK II will be available in PIR?
The PIR will contain historical data on payment (5515 & 215) and miscellaneous vouchers (debit and credit), going back seven years. Since miscellaneous vouchers contain a mixture of payment and collection activities, these vouchers will reside and be available for viewing in both PIR and CIR.

Will I be able to see vouchers related to Stored-Value Cards (SVC) in PIR?
No. Voucher information related to Stored-Value Cards (SVC) will be available in the CIR.

Output Reports

Do the reports in PIR have a downloadable format?
Most of the reports in PIR have an xls and csv downloadable format. In particular, some agencies use the EFT Payment Voucher report download to subsequently upload data into their internal financial system. Sample Voucher Report & Field Description


   Last Updated:  October 09, 2014